Audacity won't launch after new install on MacOS X Catalina 10.15.7

I have spent hours trying to troubleshoot this on my own and am officially at a loss. I’m hoping someone here can help me. I apologize in advance for the length.

I originally installed Audacity 3.4.2 (universal DMG) as I’m running OS 10.15.7 - on the download page (Audacity ® | Download for Mac OS), it states that versions 10.14 and earlier should use the Intel DMG, so I figured I should be okay using the universal one as 10.15 is later than 10.14. The application seemed to install, but when I tried to open it, the icon appeared in my dock and bounced for a few minutes. After a while, it stopped bouncing and didn’t have a dot under it indicating the program was open. When I right-clicked on the icon, it said “Application Not Responding,” so I had to force quit the application. Even when it was bouncing, I had the option to “Force Quit”. There was no error message.

I uninstalled the application and deleted the DMG file, then installed 3.4.2 using the Intel DMG. The same thing happened: It installed, but the program icon just bounced a bunch before stopping and not launching.

I then rebooted my laptop and tried opening the program again, and the same thing happened. I uninstalled and reinstalled the program again (using the Intel DMG), but this time rebooted before launching. Again, the same thing happened.

I then saw that some people recommended deleting certain files in the ~/Library/Application Support/audacity folder, so I went to find them only to discover that no such audacity folder existed in my Application Support folder (which I think is because it never managed to launch in the first place… but I could be wrong).

I also made sure that my permissions were set to “Read & Write” for my user account under the “Get Info” panel, which it was (though the admin was set to “Read Only”… I didn’t think that was a problem).

Then, I read the troubleshooting section in the 3.4.2 manual. I followed the instructions to set my privacy settings to accept downloads from “Anywhere” and not just the app store and trusted third parties (which meant I had to go into the Terminal to make that option available). After that, I tried re-opening the program. The same thing happened, that infernal bouncing. I then uninstalled and re-installed Audacity 3.4.2 AGAIN (Intel DMG) with the privacy settings on “Anywhere”, which didn’t work either.

I then bit the bullet and tried to install older versions, even though I was sure the current version should work on my machine. I installed 3.4.1, 3.4.0, and 3.3.3 (with privacy settings still accepting downloads from “Anywhere” and using the Intel DMGs), all of which resulted in the same thing happening.

That’s when I gave up. At this point, I’ve uninstalled Audacity, deleted all the DMG files, and reset my privacy settings to default. I even cleared all the downloads in Firefox while trying to troubleshoot, but that didn’t help either. And not once did I get an “audacity” folder in ~/Library/Application Support. I also tried downloading 3.4.2 from the official Audacity Mac download page and on FossHub, both of which had the same result. On my last try, I noticed in Finder that Audacity was blank under the “Kind” column when it should’ve said “Application”. However, when I opened the folder to see the package contents, there were folders and files inside (i.e., it wasn’t “empty” and took up hard drive space - if memory serves ~89 KB). It also isn’t a capacity thing. I have a 1 TB drive, and only about a quarter of it is in use.

Any ideas on what’s going on? Any help would be much appreciated.

Pretty horrified to see no one here answered to your request. Same thing happened to me today. Catalina 10.15.7. Absolutely nothing works.
This leads to another question: Is there another program that I can use to hear my turntable through my iMac besides Audacity?

@cesarsanchez You are experiencing a different issue. Audacity 3.5 is broken on macOS versions older than 12, Audacity 3.4.2 works. I have no idea why it doesn’t work for @kay.d.zed

I’m experiencing the same issue with Catalina 10.15.7
I’ve been using it for years and when I installed the update today it keeps giving me an error and won’t open.
I’ve tried rebooting and reinstalling to no avail.

Have there been any answers provided?
I use Audacity all the time for client recordings and now I’m dead in the water.

Any solutions friends??
thanks very much!

@MicheleM Audacity 3.5 is broken on macOS versions older than 12, Audacity 3.4.2 works. You can download 3.4.2 via Old Audacity versions download.

You’re awseome LWinterberg!!
Thank you - Which “old Version” should I download.
I’m not super techy - just enough to get myself into trouble… LOL
3.4.2 MAC OS DMG for Apple Silicon?
Thank you!!
with gratitude,

Suddenly Audacity is not registering any sound coming from my interface. I’m sure it’s the MacOS problem, but I’ve downloaded older versions of audacity and it still won’t work. I guess I’ll just hope that a new update fixes this. It sucks to get this mid-project.

Are you using an Apple Silicon mac? Those are the ones with M1 chips. If that’s not something you’ve heard about, it probably is an Intel mac, and the x86_64 version is the right one.

I tried this (old versión 3.4.2) and it doesn’t work for me.

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